baratillo @ cubao : www.baratillo.net

Manny Villar Quo Vadis?

Posted in sketch by juned on the September 7th, 2009

Manuel Bamba Villar, Jr would probably best rememebered as the person who sent the impeachment complaint from the Hoouse of Congress to the Senate. Starting the impeachment hearings that led to the shortening of Joseph Estrada’s tenure as President of the Philippine Republic.

The noise of the gavel repeatly hitting the wood reveberated in the Halls of Congress.

From then the former Speaker became a Senator and now is aspiring to be President of the Republic and along the way has become the President of a revived Nacionalista Party. And the recipient of a hundred and one allegations of corruption and mischief.

And to tap it of Villar has been able run the most slick PR campaign of any Presidential candidate. Come to think of it his pr campaign for Senator was slick and polished also.

Such things can only be done with will and resources. And it seems Villar has both in spades. But beyond the PR campaign stories about Villar is proving quite interesing - most of these came from Wikipedia:

One of the richest man in Philippine Politics does not come from a political clan but established one. One of the richest man in Congress and Senate of the Philippines is a self-made man who made his money to skill and persistence.

Villar is second of nine children. His father Manuel Villar Sr a government employee and his mother Curita Bamba a sea food dealer. Villar starteed selling seafood at an early age.

He was able to support his studies while working as fish and shrimp trader. Finishing with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Business Administration at the University of the Philippines.

He never seemed to fit in a corporate setting working briefly for Sycip, Gorres & Velayo Co and Private Development Corporation of the Philippines - where he was a financial analyst - whose job was to sell World Bank Loans. Upon resigning Villar availed of one of the said loans.

He started a seafood delivery business. There was a restaurant who could not pay him. Villar printed out meal tickets and convinced the restaurant owners to honor them. He then sold these tickets to office workers at a discout. Villar was able to liquidate his receivables in one year.

He also started a sand-and-gravel business with two reconditioned trucks bought for ten thousand pesos in Las Pinas. He also started one of the biggest land development companies - Camelia & Palmera Homes - in South East Asia.

what does such things say of Villar?

Villar is a self-made man and probably used to have his ways on things. He is also a rich man - enough to become a Kingmaker or in this case a King.

In a way this reminds me of those old Roman politicians who used wealth and skill to further gain office and power. Generals empowered by their wealth taken from foreign lands to become power brokers and powers of the Roman Republic - men like Marius, Crassus and Julius Caesar - spent for power from the Triumph and Celebrations to the Breads and Circuses for the Romans. Even Julius Caesar’s nephew and adapted son Octavian used wealth to solidify his hold on the Roman Republic. Nearly cementing his hold on the Roman Republic with acquisition of Egypt, after the deafeat and suicide of Anthony and Cleopatra, and guaranteeing the grain supply be available for the Roman Empire and its Egyptian riches for use of the First Citizen the former Octavian now named Augustus as well.

Another interesting thing was that the Romans abhorred Kings - chasing them from Rome years before Caesar. It was this fear and I suppose envy that prompted Roman Senators and Caesar’s friend Brutus to assassinate Julius Ceasar before the statue of Pompey - Caesar’s rival. Octavian never took the title of King - instead taking several titles First Citizen, Imperator, High Priest etc etc that effectively made him King in all things but not in name. In all respects somethimg more powerful: Imperator, Emperor, Caesar, Kaiser or Tsar.

So is Villar Crassus? Marius? Octavian or Caesar?